Praying with Confidence- a guest post from Renee Swope & Devotional GIVEAWAY

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I’m so thrilled to have my friend, Renee Swope, of Proverbs 31 Ministries, visiting with us. Her book “A Confident Heart” is one of my favorites that I turn to time and time again. She has such a GREAT message for us today. Drink it in!

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NASB)

I used to be hesitant to pray. Not really knowing what to say, I would stumble over my words when talking to God. I especially didn’t know how to pray when struggling with uncertainty and doubts.

Yet, I desperately wanted to say the right things because I thought: If I pray the right way, then God will listen and answer my prayers the way I want Him to.

That would be called performance-based prayers. A remnant from my childhood I’m sure.

Eventually, when I was in my twenties, I got up the courage to talk with my pastor’s wife about my fears and struggles. She explained that prayer isn’t about saying or asking the right things; it’s about building a relationship with God by talking to Him and listening.

She also taught me how to take scriptures from the Bible and turn them into prayers. I tried it, and loved the new sense of confidence and direction it gave me when I didn’t know what to say to God.

One day I was reading 1 John 5:14 and noticed how the Bible says we can pray with confidence when we ask God for what is already part of His will: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (NASB).

With this in mind, I realized I would be praying God’s will when I prayed His Word.

Oftentimes when I pray now, verses I’ve read in the Bible will come to mind. For instance, recently I felt like my plans were spinning out of control, and Jeremiah 29:11 popped into my thoughts. On days like that, I’ll pray something like this:

“Lord, you know the plans you have for me,plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. You say that if I come to you and pray, you will listen and you will lead me. So, today I surrender my plans for Your plans. Please guide my decisions and thoughts to match Yours so that I can experience hope and notharm. Even though things aren’t going so great today, I trust the plans You have for me.

I love knowing there is not a certain way I have to pray to get God’s attention. In fact, praying and talking to God has become one of my favorite things to do – whether alone or with a friend. I don’t feel any pressure to say the right things anymore. Sometimes I just sit still and let Him whisper His promises into my thoughts and then I ask for their fufillment in my prayers.

Lord, I’m so glad I don’t have to say that right things to get your attention. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in me and leads me – in my daily activities and even in my prayers. Please show me verses You want me to pray today so I can see Your Word come alive in my circumstances and become active in my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

When I sayI don’t know what to say when I pray.

God says… Just talk to Me and pray through my promises today.

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NASB)

* Renee’s post is a partial excerpt from her new Confident Heart Devotional book, used with permission from Revell Books.

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Renee has been married for over 20 years to her husband J.J. She is the mom of two teenage boys and a five-year-old Ethiopian princess their family adopted in 2009. Renee is also a best-selling author, speaker and radio co-host with Proverbs 31 Ministries.

ACH Devo standing up About Renee’s NEW Confident Heart Devotional:
Expanding on her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope has written a new 60-day devotional that will encourage, empower and equip you to live confidently in your God-given roles, relationships, and responsibilities! Each devotion features a new “When I Say…God Says…” statement, prayer and a promise to guide your thoughts and emotions that day. PLUS you will love the easy-reference chart that includes all sixty ”When I Say…God Says…” statements!

Enter to WIN a signed copy TODAY!

  • Enter to win a signed copy of Renee’s new Confident Heart Devotional book by sharing in the comments: Share your thoughts and let us know what friend you’d give it to, if you won 2 copies. Winners will be announced Monday.

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ENTER the Let God Love You Contest:
Find out how you can WIN a $50 gift card, 2 additional signed copies of Renee’s devotional book, and a beautiful 8×10 print from Emily Burger Designs at www.ReneeSwope.com

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51 Comments

  1. I would love to win this!! I would share a copy with a friend I just went through an amazing journey with! We hosted a baby from Africa that was here for medical reasons and just went home today!

  2. I’d share a copy with one of my story time mom’s, Judy. (I’m a children’s librarian and this particular mom and I have connected on sharing our testimonies and everything God has done and continues to do for us. She’s a complete joy, can’t wait to see her every week, and am so thankful God brought her into my life.)

  3. Sent here from Renee Swope’s blog…

    I’d share a copy with my pastor’s wife. She never expected to be a pastor’s wife and could use some truths like this spoken into her life.

  4. Mippy/Sabrina says:

    HI! Renee Swope sent me. You are a new to me blog 🙂 O’d love to have this devotional book to help me start my day off in a positive way, esp when I have bad days. I’d love to share this with my friend’s wife. 🙂

  5. Hi Rachel! I want to thank you for sharing Renee’s blog for her 2 signed book givaway. That was my first bible study and I learned so much from it. I then got the devotional ebook on Friday!! Awewsome!! Thanks again. Later!

  6. I have read Renee’s book A Confident Heart 2x and look forward to ready the devotion book. I have met Renee a couple of years ago at a church event. I love her honesty. I would give one of the books to our church library.

  7. I have been working on praying more…just sharing my heart with Him. I would give a copy to my friend Rachel who has truly been a gift from God since I have met her.

  8. Susan Smith-Allen says:

    Hi Rachel! I am hopping over to you from Renee Swope’s Blog to thank you, along with Renee, for sharing an excerpt on her “A Confident Heart 60 Day Devotional” book. I got the e-book FREE on Valentine’s Day and I love it! I hope a lot of people get it and read it. It’s very encouraging and helpful. It’s a great message on God’s LOVE and it also shows us to not have self-doubt, and so much more……Susan Smith-Allen

  9. Susan Gruener says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I have enjoyed reading your wonderful testimony. God is so good. I just hopped onto your blog from Renee’s blog. 🙂
    Her book is awesome and it was life changing for me, even after having know Jesus for many years. God does just want a relationship with HIm. You are so right on when you talk about praying His Word – I know it gets His attention. 🙂 If I won Renee’s book I would give one to Allison, my daughter…if I won two I would give the other to Paula, my sweet friend who moved…
    Much love,
    Susan

  10. Cathy McCoy says:

    Hi! I linked over from Renee Swopes page/email. Thanks for sharing. I’m reading A Confident Heart and would love copies of the devotional. I have more than one person I can think of to give a copy to so I can’t narrow it down. I’ve finally realized just over the last couple of years just how much God really loves me and I don’t have to be “perfect” as I grew up thinking I had to be. What freedom!

  11. Jackie Smith says:

    I know I would love having this book…..Renee’s posts mean so much to me.
    I would give a second copy to a dear friend, former pastor’s wife, who is such a blessing to me.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. liked Renee’s reference to performance based prayers of her past –
    so important to move on from that to the Love relationship God desires…

    I’d love to give copies to my 2 Amys – daughter and daughter in law =)
    Thank youfor your generosity, Renee, and for your lovely hosting, Rachel !

  13. Marilyn Lisenbee says:

    I loved the book and would love to have the devotional.

  14. Renee’s book A Confident Heart has impacted me greatly. Learning the empowerment that comes from knowing God and trusting that He is who He says He is has boosted my own confidence and my relationship with God. Renee’s devotional would be a blessing for many friends who need the same encouragement.

  15. I would give one of the books to my best friend, Karen and the other one to my sweet mom, Quilla. I really loved reading your blog post. Have a blessed weekend!

  16. I loved Renee’s book A Confident Heart so I know I would enjoy the daily readings in this devotional. I would love to share a copy with Kirsten, who is a young woman getting ready to go off to college – this devotional would bless her!

  17. Enjoyed the message as it hits right where I struggle…aligning what I want to God’s will. My best friend are always talking about God and his blessings and teachings. She would enjoy this book too.

  18. Susan Smith-Allen says:

    Dear Rachel–I downloaded the e-book “A Confident Heart Devotional”. If I won two of these books signed by Renee Swope–I would share the one I keep to many friends–especially my cousin, Marian. She has been such a special friend to me since my dad and mom died 10 years ago. She took me under her wing for the Thanksgivings and Christmases each year, also Easter. She opened her home and family up to me to include me as part of their own I would love for her to read this Devotional to let her know how special she really is. I would love to give one copy to my best friend for 40 years–Chrissy who lives 800 miles away from me–We have kept in touch all these years. She and I both have doubts of our worth at times–we both live alone–she in Virginia and me in upstate New York. I love her so much and know she would appreciate the verse–1Peter 2:9– to remind her, as well as me, that we are God’s possession–He paid for us because of His love for us. Thank you for your website. I’m glad I found it. Susan

    1. Just beautiful, Susan. Thank you for sharing and what a wonderful share the devotional would be with your friend!

  19. Erin Smith says:

    This sounds so lovely! I have been finding it hard to pray these days, and I want to pray, I love talking to God. It just seems hard.
    I would give on to my grandmother, she is struggling with the possibility of her cancer coming back.
    God bless you!

  20. cathleen rafalko says:

    I love devo books and try to have family devo time before I send my two 2nd graders and 5th grader off to school… I would give one to my best friend Danielle who is a growing believer and a seeker mom I know from school who just lost her job. THanks for your blog and encouragements! I also am raising two boys and a girl and look forward to some parenting tips 🙂

  21. Darlene R. says:

    I so struggle with prayer, I tend to feel guilty asking for things all the time. I do give thanks and am grateful, trying to find a balance is hard. If I were to win the books I would bless my daughter in law with the second one, she’s been struggling to find the perfect devotional. Thanks for this chance. Be Blessed!

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